Bay Area indie punks Shutups have shared the uncanny new video for the latest single from their forthcoming second album, I can’t eat nearly as much as I want to vomit, coming Oct. 21 on Kill Rock Stars. Both “Televised Hit & Run” and its accompanying visual—premiering right here at Paste today (Aug. 24) ahead of the track’s official release—grow in surreal intensity as they go, distorting their high energy into something more unnerving.
Created by the band’s own Eric Stafford (guitar, synths), the “Televised Hit & Run” video gives you a front-row seat to a virtual Shutups set pervaded by glitchy internet-age whimsy. The band used VR tech and 3D rendering to capture their movements as they pantomimed performing the track, then crudely mapped photos onto their digital stand-ins—the result is oddly nostalgic, for one thing, like a group of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 NPCs wandered off and decided to host a basement show. Shutups jump-cut their way through a house plagued by digital decay, their instruments invisible, the laws of physics rewritten on disk. Drummer Mia Wood’s arms clip through her torso; vocalist/guitarist Hadley Davis is dressed in halves of each Dumb & Dumber tuxedo; at one point, the band take a detour into Windows XP’s default wallpaper. This “computer room” fever dream becomes a nightmare as “Televised Hit & Run” transforms from heavy krautrock rager to punishing hardcore chaos. Darkness envelops the house while Shutups’ digital cohort dance like zombies and bleed from the eyes, dropping dead one by one as Wood hammers her kit into oblivion, only for them to respawn in a pitch-black void.
“With this video i wanted to keep up our music video trend of framing the band in an unnatural context,” Stafford tells Paste. “Treating the band as puppets of their own music is funny to me and the most interesting way to accomplish this was to actually create real-time video-game scenes of the band (and NPC fans) endlessly pantomiming along with the titular single. Using a VR headset to capture the performers in their PS2 purgatory is the icing on the metaphorical cake. ”
Davis says of “Televised Hit & Run” and its explosive outro, “The ending breakdown pattern was written by one of my oldest friends, Will Jenkins, during our high school post-hardcore/screamo days. It was never used in any bands, but we used it as a musical joke whenever we could. It was inserted into at least one high school jazz band performance and definitely a few times during a worship band set, as we grew up playing in the church band. ” He adds of the track, “Music nerd jokes aside, it’s a song about not being able to accept love, numbing yourself into oblivion.”
Stafford describes “Televised Hit & Run” as “one of the heaviest songs we’ve done and a perfect counterpoint to ‘Endless Heaven,’” the lead single from I can’t eat nearly as much as I want to vomit. Wood adds of the band’s latest, “i absolutely adore Bud [Armienti]’s Moog part, I get to play a fun kraut beat, and we end it with a comical, yet intrinsically badass hardcore breakdown,” and recalling, “I’ll always remember the first time we played it live the day before lockdown started in 2020. We played it way too fast. We’ve joked that quarantine was our punishment for introducing that one too early. ”
Watch the “Televised Hit & Run” video below. I can’t eat nearly as much as I want to vomit is available for preorder.